Andrew Mowatt Artist Case Study

~Andrew Mowatt

Andre Watts
My artist case study will be on Andre Watts the 1st African American concert pianist to achieve international super stardom. In March of 2018 I was able to contact Mr Watts through a contemporary of Dr Watkins named Richard Alston. In an email interview he offered me a residency if i was ever in Indiana were he is currently a professor and with encouragement quoted Philippians 4:13 “[You]I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • What makes you and your work unique? During his early career Mr Watts signed a long-term exclusive contract with CBS Records and PBS. So along side his concert schedule he reached audiences across the US through television. This is just another avenue through which to expand my own developing vision.
  • Do you have a brand or artist statement? Mr Watts has a vision which I very much desire to emulate in my own career. My artist statement would sound something like, “Inspiring and nurturing young minds of the future through music.” He is a representative member of the AAREG (African American Registry). This is the largest database resource of African American heritage in the world. Interestingly, this organization partners with TV programs and University’s to promote and gain more data regarding the development of young black artists.
  • Do you have a mission or vision? My mission or vision would be through the use of youth programs, teacher preparation and curriculum reform inspire and nurture young promising musicans.
  • Do you have career goals laid out for the next 5-10 years? Yes many! To implement giving young African American youths a voice I’ve determined to volunteer locally with churches and after school programs which help student in lower income areas become more successful and well rounded individuals. In this scope I am able to take what I’ve learned at the University to give students and parents a greater sense of purpose and unity. I’ve just started an internship with the School of Fine Arts in Mandarin through which I will begin teaching my own piano students after a few weeks of shadowing another teacher. Within the next 5-10 years I plan on honing my skills as a classical interpretor and becoming a more qualified and versatile teacher of music.
  • What do you do and what are you doing? I am currently also an avid volunteer at Shands and Uf Proton therapy center here in Jacksonville. Through this endeavor I’ve met numerous prominent members of Jacksonville through which I’ve built a catalogue of contacts which will help me network and plan venues in the future. The relationships I’ve built at the hospital have proven to be indispensable.
  • How are you connecting and building audiences and how do you market to them? Primarily and, since I am still a full time student, I am building an audience through my volunteer work in nursery homes and Hospitals. However I know a few prominent musicians around town that are excitedly awaiting my schedule to open up a bit more so i can pursue more exposure and a greater audience. Another thing, i am starting is exploring other genre’s such as jazz and cultivating my own improvised style of piano playing.
  • Did you look at someone else’s career to make a path for your own and if so, what was it? There were numerous musicians I wished to emulate whether it be based on the expressionism of their playing or success in the respective fields. One of these is a pianist by the name of Valentina Lisitsa, she became the most famous youtube pianist of our day. Her playing is much more expressive than most pianists and her use of good recording equipment is something that I know i desire and need to promote myself. Another musician i use as an example is a prominent jazz musician by the name of Myles Jaye. Jay has a background in classical violin playing. I had the privilege of meeting him at his Bar. I played piano for him and we hit it off as friends, next thing I know I’m being interviewed with cameras and videos.
  • How do you fund your work? I will fund my work by working retail and food service. I find that at the moment the most realistic option for me to maintain a balance is to understand that I’m not at the point in my musical career to where my music and entrepreneurship can support putting food on the table and paying rent. Never mind my overarching vision. Realistically I’ve had to yield to that and look for promotions outside of the musical sphere.
  • How did you initially get funding? I initially got funding interestingly through members of the church who heard my playing after a church service. Inspired by my talent, people of the church organized themselves, and provided me initial residency and funded me in my endeavor to audition as a music student at Jacksonville University.
  • What networks or organizations do you belong to and which ones have helped you the most? The organizations I am a part of are Arlington United Methodist church and the Ville church and they’ve helped me the most to fight the ambiguity and discouragement I face about my gift of music. These organizations have helped me but not nearly as much as my University professors. The professors at Jacksonville have seen a potential in me that I haven’t always seen in myself, and that has helped me the most to believe in the dream I was given.

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